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After two days of adverse weather conditions, the third, and final, day of the scheduled Minardi Cosworth test at the Autodromo Santamonica was run in sunny, dry, but cold conditions.
The Faenza squad completed its full programme for the day, which included runs for Chanoch Nissany and Nicolas Kiesa in the morning, and Christijan Albers in the afternoon.
All three drivers were at the wheel of a Minardi Cosworth PS04B chassis. Nissany continued to familiarise himself with F1 performance while assisting technical staff to assess software and hardware that may be used on the team's 2005 car, with Kiesa, who contested five races for Minardi in 2003, focusing on the evaluation of aerodynamic components.
Albers, who covered nearly 320 km in the first two days of the test, drove for another 110 km on Thursday, as he continued with aerodynamic evaluation work. "I'm satisfied with the work we did today," Albers said. "We completed our programme and, once again, I really enjoyed working with the team. I also discovered some interesting things with regard to chassis set-up that increased my confidence with the car, and now we know how to improve our lap times at this circuit. There is still work to be done, of course, but with everything I've learned this week, we'll aim to make even more progress at the next test."
"It was great to drive a Formula One car again," commented Kiesa after his F1 test. "All the feedback from the controls was clear and consistent, and it didn't feel as though it had been a year since I last drove one of these cars - everything came back to me quickly. We did just three timed laps, and the track conditions were not the best this morning. The surface was still wet in a number of spots, but even so, the car was well-balanced and easy to drive. I want to thank Paul Stoddart and the whole Minardi team for giving me the chance to show that I can still drive an F1 car."
Nissany said: "We started the session on Bridgestone 'shallow wet' tyres, as the track was still wet in places, but then gradually the surface dried up and the grip improved. I'm satisfied with the job I've done today."
Minardi is scheduled to test again at Misano, at the beginning of February.
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